Reflections/poem biography for Home
home smallest“my childhood laughter
is dislodged from old gables.
Unsettled dust layers my wet face.”

This poem links back in many ways to my earlier ‘Nomadic’. Having moved around a bit as a child and adult, I’ve never really had a town or house that I identify with as home. The closest that I get to pinning down ‘home’ is in emotions. A sense of being relaxed, safe, comfortable, loved.

One actual place I identified with for ages is Selsey, on the Sussex coast, where I lived for ten years as a young child. This house was close to the sea and, for years after we moved, I was angry at having had to leave. I missed the place. Or, more accurately, I missed the nostalgic memories my mind had turned the place into.

I think I did go back to visit Selsey once, briefly, and realised that it just made me sad because I no longer belonged there. This poem is a fictional visit in my head. It is also my attempting to come to terms not with my own mortality but my parents’. I can’t even begin to imagine what life without them would be like.

Electric Questions - lit version smallerDiscussion Point

What effects do the abstract images and the missing links between the more concrete images create in this poem? Is it unsettling? If so, when and where does the poem start to feel this way? Does this help prepare you for the poem’s ending?

Inspiration/Writing Prompt

Remember back to/imagine your or a fictional character’s ideal or worst home. Use all the senses to evoke both the place and how you/your character feels about it. If you’re writing a story, imagine you/your character is forced to move away, or that a stranger comes to stay for a long time. What happens?

plentyfish cover (1)At poetry readings, I often enjoy hearing about the background to a particular poem. ‘Wednesday Reflections/Sometimes I smile’ is my attempt to share the inspiration, frustrations, pain, philosophies and thoughts that lie behind my poetry collection ‘plenty-fish’. Each Wednesday, this blog will contain one of these ‘poem biographies’, as well as points for potential reader discussion and also writers’ prompts. My collection ‘plenty-fish’ may be bought from Nine Arches Press, here, or my website, here. More Wednesday Reflections on other poems in the collection can also be found here.